Shortlist for this years Big Brother awards....
From: Ian Brown [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 9:47 AM
Subject: Big Brother nominees
PRIVACY INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES SHORTLIST FOR THE 3rd ANNUAL BIG BROTHER
NOMINEES INCLUDE BT, JACK STRAW, UK INFO DISC, TV LICENSING, AND ANNE
10th November 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On December 4th, the human rights group Privacy International will present
the third annual "Big Brother awards" to the government and private sector
organisations that have done the most to invade personal privacy in Britain.
The awards will be bestowed at a special event at the London School of
Economics. Awards will also be given to individuals and organisations that
have made an outstanding contribution to the protection of privacy.
The event is being hosted by the Department of Information Systems of the
London School of Economics, and is organised by Privacy International, a
London based civil rights group which for the past decade has raised
awareness around the world about privacy threats ranging from military
surveillance to workplace drug testing (see the PI homepage at
www.privacyinternational.org). The awards will be presented by Channel 4's
The gold awards - in the shape of a boot stamping on a human head - will be
presented in five categories. The judges have announced the shortlist
MOST INVASIVE COMPANY: The award in this category will be a fiercely fought
contest between I-CD Publishing, which created the reverse directory CD "UK
Info Disk"; the Visionics Corporation, responsible for the new generation of
CCTV automatic face recognition software; and Envision Licensing Ltd, the
organisation behind Britain's TV Licensing regime.
MOST APPALLING PROJECT: The lead contender in this category is the
government's "email snooping" legislation - the Regulation of Investigatory
Powers (RIP) Act. Other shortlisted nominees include the Landlordsdata.com
database, which offers an on-line blacklist of tenants; and the national DNA
MOST HEINOUS GOVERNMENT ORGANISATION. This will be a contest between our old
favourite the Home Office, the Department of Trade and Industry (for giving
employers the green light to snoop on their staff), and Customs and Excise.
WORST PUBLIC SERVANT. Jack Straw was consistently nominated for this
category, but as he won it last year, we are reluctant to give him another
boot (so he is nominated below for Lifetime Menace). Anne Widdicombe was not
far behind. Charles Clarke made the shortlist for his shepherding of the RIP
LIFETIME MENACE AWARD Jack Straw is so far ahead of the field that the
others will have a near impossible task beating him. Other shortlisted
nominees are British Telecom, for a litany of privacy violations reaching
back more than twenty years, and GCHQ (Government Communications
Headquarters) for unjustified and unwarranted endemic communications
The 2000 awards will be judged by a panel of experts consisting of lawyers,
academics, consultants, journalists and civil rights activists.
The Big Brother Awards have also been staged as an annual event in the
United States, France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Privacy International's Director, Simon Davies, said privacy invasion in
Britain has become "a vast industry that threatens the rights of everyone in
"Privacy will be the most important civil liberties issue for the new
century, and we intend showing its importance by outing the privacy
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT SIMON DAVIES ON 07958 466 552
Notes to editors:
The Big Brother Awards are open, free of charge, to invited guests and
members of the media. People wanting to attend should contact Simon Davies
on [log in to unmask] or on 07958 466 552
High resolution photographs of the award are available through John Connor
Press Associates on 01273486 851